Racial Strife Mars Christmas Events

Events in Ferguson continue to spark protests that have extended into the events of Christmas. Last night’s tree lighting at New York’s Rockefeller Center coincided with a street protest and another grand jury decision not to charge a white cop will killing a black suspect. In a bizarre elevation of the rhetoric singer Darius Rucker took criticism for singing “White Christmas” at the event.

The ceremony went ahead under police protection, and Rucker performed “White Christmas,” a classic written by a Jewish immigrant, Irving Berlin. The song refers to snow, not to race, in recalling a traditional Christmas scene.

Critics, however, believed that the mere reference to the color “white” by a black singer in the throes of a racially-charged controversy was offensive and suggested a contempt for the feelings of other black people.

Last week a group of children performing Christmas carols in a mall in suburban Washington state were surrounded by threatening protesters. The protesters, who also attempted to disrupt a tree-lighting ceremony, managed to get the mall shut down for four hours on one of the busiest shopping days of the year, were unapologetic for their actions.

March leader Marissa Johnson countered, telling KING that “America goes where their pocketbook goes, so today we’re blocking Black Friday. We want you to be uncomfortable shopping.” A KING reporter noted that other children in the crowd “looked confused” regarding the protesters’ actions.

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